Rangers will play Braga on Thursday in a huge Europa League semi-final at Ibrox.

The last time the club reached this stage of the tournament was in 2008 when another Portuguese side, Sporting Lisbon, lay in wait for Walter Smith’s side on the road to Manchester.

Rangers ran out 2-0 winners that day after goals from Jean-Claude Darcheville secured a place in the semi-finals, but just what are the starting 11 and subs up to these days?

Sporting Lisbon v Rangers - UEFA Cup Quarter Final
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Allan McGregor: Rangers

For people of a particular age, Andy Goram was their hero and the greatest Rangers GK in history. Now, even some in that generation, are changing that to Allan McGregor, who deserves to be at least in the same bracket as Goram.

Sadly, this was the last we would see of McGregor in Europe that season due to injury, with Neil Alexander deputising in the semi-final and final. After the heartbreak of Manchester, he came back strongly to help win Walter three titles in a row – including a certain penalty save against Celtic in 2011.

He quietly left the club in the wake of administration, moving to Besiktas. After a brief spell helping Hull reach the 2014 FA Cup Final, he made a return to his childhood heroes and his legend status was secured after playing a huge role in the club lifting their record 55th league title.

His memorable saves against Werder Bremen summed up this UEFA Cup Final run and he has pulled off similar saves this season – could another run to the final be on?

Crvena Zvezda v Rangers FC: Round of 16 Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Kirk Broadfoot: Inverness CT

A journeyman if ever there was one, Broadfoot finds himself playing at his fifth club in five years after leaving Kilmarnock last season.

His time at Ibrox is probably most remembered for literally getting egg on his face in 2009. Nonetheless, he was part of a squad that reached a European Final and helped the club win 3 in a row before leaving in 2012.

Carlos Cuellar: Retired

That season’s Player of the Year made his mark in this run, putting in solid performances at the back with David Weir and made a club record 65 appearances that season, scoring five goals.

The Spaniard deserved all the plaudits that season and his one season at Ibrox led him to the heady heights of the Premier League, completing an £8m move to Aston Villa in 2008.

After four years at Villa, he continued to play in the Premier League with Sunderland and Norwich before moving home to Spain and then finishing his career in Israel.

David Weir: Retired

An underrated Rangers captain, Weir provided the leadership qualities required when he made the move from Everton in 2007, settling in at Ibrox straight away.

After helping the club reach Manchester and winning a league and cup double in 2009, Weir became captain after Barry Ferguson left the club and led Rangers to two further League and Cup doubles as captain before retiring in 2011.

He returned to the club as assistant manager during Mark Warburton’s turbulent reign in 2015 before leaving under a cloud in 2017. However he is still a club legend who deserves his place in history.

Sasa Papac: Retired

The Bosnian achieved cult hero status at Ibrox for his steady performances.

Achieving a 7/10 every week, he hardly put a foot wrong and put in a similar performance this night.

His time at Ibrox is probably remembered mostly for the time he put his head on the line and got whacked in the face from a Mark Wilson shot in 2011 and that summed his character up.

Injuries led him to retire in 2012 after being part of that three in a row squad from 2009-2011.

Always welcomed back at Ibrox, he returned for the recent Legends game to a standing ovation.

Joao Moutinho
Photo : Carlos Rodrigues / Icon Sport via Getty Images

Brahim Hemdani: Retired

The Algerian international was known for his steady performances in Europe under Smith and he was crucial in this run to the final.

Another underrated Rangers player, he signed as the Marseille captain in 2005 and won a League Title, 2 League Cups and a Scottish Cup before retiring at the young age of 31 in 2009.

Steven Davis: Rangers

The most capped player in British football history was one of the standout performers in the run to Manchester.

Signed in the January of that window, initially on loan from Fulham, he made an instant impact, scoring the second in the 2-0 win over Werder Bremen in the Last 16.

Signing permanently that summer, he was the best player at Ibrox for the three in a row success and left in 2012 – admirably transferring his contract over to the new company to allow Rangers to get a transfer fee for him as he moved to Southampton.

After a successful period as club captain which included captaining them to an EFL Cup Final against Man Utd in 2017, he returned to his boyhood club in 2019 and has turned into a Rolls Royce of a player, playing a crucial role in delivering the club’s record 55th league title.

He hasn’t played a massive role under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but it is clear the Ulsterman still has a lot he wants to achieve at Ibrox. Could a new deal be on the cards for this living legend?

Barry Ferguson: Retired

Many people’s hero growing up, Barry Ferguson epitomised leadership and what it meant to be a Rangers captain on the pitch. Captaining the side to the final, his skills as a leader shone through and helped the club put in the tough performances required to reach Manchester.

His off-the-field antics cost him his place at the club in 2009, however he will always be remembered as the most talented Scottish player of the early 21st century and certainly the last player of real quality to come through the Rangers youth system.

He has recently cut his teeth in management with Kelty Hearts and Alloa but is mostly seen in the media these days.

Sporting Lisbon v Rangers - UEFA Cup Quarter Final
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Kevin Thomson: Retired

The tough tackling midfielder’s career was hampered by injuries, but that wasn’t enough to stop him helping the club reach Manchester and win two league titles in a row.

A move to Middlesborough followed his time at Ibrox, but that was largely injury plagued and he moved back to Scotland to play for Hibs, Dundee and Tranent Juniors.

Similarly, to Ferguson, he is now in management, ironically with Kelty Hearts and won the Scottish League 2 title at a canter – could a future return to Rangers be on the cards as manager?

Lee McCulloch: Retired

A player who was used frequently but under the radar in this time perhaps didn’t get the plaudits he deserved then, but certainly did when the dark times of 2012 hit, and he was one of the first players to transfer his contract across.

He scored two goals on the run to Manchester, most famously the opener in the incredible 3-0 win at Lyon and started the final.

After transferring his contract over, he became club captain from 2012 and left in 2015 after that infamous play off defeat at Fir Park.

Jean-Claude Darcheville: Retired

‘The Rocket’ certainly lived up to his name and scored the crucial opener in this tie.

He only spent two years at Ibrox but managed to add a league medal to his Scottish Cup and League Cup wins in 2008 as well as scoring against Stuttgart and Sporting on the run to Manchester.


Steven Whittaker: Retired

His incredible solo strike in this game was his finest hour in a Rangers shirt as he rubber-stamped the club’s place in the semi-finals after dribbling past what seemed like the entire Sporting squad.

The full back was well known for his long range and unconventional finishing which led him to 48 goal contributions in nearly 200 games for the Ibrox side.

After helping the club reach Manchester and win three in a row, the Scottish international was hounded by fans after his infamous interview during Rangers’ troubles of 2012 and has never really been welcomed back at Ibrox since. He last played for Dunfermline where he is now a coach.

Sporting Lisbon v Rangers - UEFA Cup Quarter Final
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Daniel Cousin: Retired

The hot-headed Gabon striker came on to provide some physicality up front in this game and he did just that.

Missed the chance to play in the final after a silly sending off in Florence but he did come back the next season and rag dolled the Celtic defence before completing a deadline day move to Hull.

He was expected to return to the club after the sale of Jelavic in 2012 however due to the financial situation that never materialised.

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